Vasilopita - Greek Saint Basil’s New Year's Cake

"A very traditional Greek Cake that celebrates the life of Saint Basil. Usually served at New Year, it is quick and delicious at any time."
photo by athenat1 photo by athenat1
photo by athenat1
Ready In:




  • Clean! Silver or gold coin wrapped in aluminum foil (a quarter works well).
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 10 inch round cake pan with 1 Tbs butter.
  • In a medium bowl, cream the cup of butter and 2 cups of sugar together until light in color. Stir in the flour and mix until the batter resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the eggs one at a time, blending each one in well.
  • In a small bowl combine the baking powder and milk, add to the cake batter and mix well. Finally combine the lemon juice and baking soda in a small bowl, add to the cake batter and mix well. Pour the cake batter in to the greased cake pan, insert the foil wrapped coin, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the oven, sprinkle the nuts and 2 Tbs sugar over the cake, then return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 20-30 minutes until the cake springs to the touch. Allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes then invert the pan on to a cake plate.
  • Ideally the cake should be served warm; each person gets a slice of the cake starting with the most senior member. Members of the Greek Orthodox Church believe that whoever gets the coin is blessed.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Delicious and easy! My family preferred it to the traditional vasilopita bread. I added: 1 t vanilla, 1 t anisette, 1 T brandy (maybe a little more...), grated peel from one Meyer lemon. Yum!
  2. A very interesting recipe. Baking powder with milk combined - first time I see this combination in a recipe. I decided to make 2 smaller 8" round pans rather than the one 10" pan and added a bit more flour and milk for this difference. Baked very well. I did not remove mid-way to add the sugar and almonds rather baked for about 40 minutes. It is delicious! A Healthy and Happy 2021 to everyone!
    • Review photo by athenat1
  3. Bake for 1 hour @ 350 degrees. Knife did not come out clean after 40 minute baking time. I added an additional 20 minutes which completed the baking time. A piece for each person and one for the house. We look forward to this every New Year's Day.
  4. I made this lovely cake and it was terrific!!! I put the sugar and almonds in two of the three pitas and the two I put the sugar burnt a bit on top but the other was moist and delicious. I'm still giving this recipe a 5 star because the cake without sugar was amazing. Kalh xronia
  5. This is a very tasty recipe, and the tips in recipe are really helpful. I however, found this Vasilopita recipe produced a lighter cake than the traditional version, otherwise if I did not have the traditional version to compare it was really great tasting. I made an addition to the end of the baking time, I added silvered almonds that were dipped in melted butter and a bit of sugar and added to the cake in the last 20 min of baking time. Yum!


  1. I added: 1 tsp vanilla + grated Meyer lemon peel from one lemon + 1 tsp. anisette + 1 T brandy. Yum!
  2. I have been making this version for quite a few years now, and my family and I are very happy with the results. I never cared for the bread version of Vasilopita. This one comes out so moist and delicious, just like Yia Yia used to make! 1/2/2009 update-I came back to this recipe after trying out another great Vasilopita last year. My nephew requested the "original" recipe and I happily obliged. I added 2 Tbsp of cognac this time in keeping with my grandmother's recipe. I also subbed 1/2 pound of butter with ICBINB, 2 liquid egg substitutes, and 1/8 tsp almond extract instead of slivered almonds; used only 1 Tbsp of sugar on top. I put it in a large round baking pan and got about 20 nice sized slices out of this wonderfully light and delicious pound cake Vasilopita. Not going back from this one again!



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